The onset of August in Napa Valley signals the beginning of an exciting few months, when the air itself is perfumed with the fragrant smells of crush. Vigorous vines lush with fruit undergo an energetic transmutation from plant to human, as harvest workers abound with life, take to the fields and rob the vines of their preciously sweet, black and golden jewels.

This coming harvest season is particularly special to us here at The Napa Valley Wine Academy because we’re rounding the bend on our four-year anniversary. That’s four incredibly exciting years of bringing first-class education to industry veterans and eager enthusiasts, many of whom have gone on to become professionals in the industry as well.

We know that you, seekers of wine knowledge have choices, even other schools to consider. As the only WSET Approved Program Provider in Northern California, housed in our own brick and mortar headquarters in downtown Napa, we take education seriously. We take pride in bringing Napa’s premier wine school operating out of a dedicated facility (not a hotel conference center or home living room). Our roots are firmly planted in the valley and we are thankful to all of you who have made your educational journey with us. For those of you on your way, we look forward to seeing you come through our doors.

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To all of you who know us and follow us and to those of you curious about what’s happening at the Academy, we’ve highlighted a short list of just a few of the reasons why we believe our school is a cut above the rest.


We have a great team of world-class instructors who sit on our board and teach in our classrooms–people like Peter Marks, MW; Tim Gaiser, MS; co-founder Catherine Bugue, DWS, IWP, AWS; Csilla Kato, DWS, AIWS, a rockstar winemaker from Beringer; co-founder and chief-education officer Christian Oggenfuss, DWS., AIWS, FWS, IWP, AWS. and many more (see a complete list here)

No other school offers as many WSET classes on the west coast.

We pioneered WSET Boot Camps and interactive learning excursions to wineries, vineyards and barrel-making facilities and trips.

We are the first in the world to develop a comprehensive certification course dedicated to the study of American wine and viticulture in all 50 United States-The American Wine Studies program. We’ve carefully chosen over 60 producers to feature during the AWS courses so that students gain a keen understanding of the wide variety of U.S. wines–from New York rieslings, Minnesota Marquette and Texas viognier to Arizona syrah, Oregon pinot noir and Napa cabernet and chardonnay.

In addition to our Napa HQ, we have strategic partnerships with the Berns Epicurean Theater in Tampa, FL as well as a new partnership with Firestone Vineyards in Santa Barbara, where we’ll be offering more classes in the coming months.

We’re also a preferred education provider to several high-profile distributors, corporations and wineries.

Our Academy’s doors are always open. Through our partnership with WineEmotion we always have wines available to test your knowledge and pristine glassware for swirling provided by Riedel.

Our “Foundation Courses” offer a series of proprietary classes for in-depth studies of regions, grape varieties and courses to help hone tasting skills.

In the coming months, we’ll be expanding into the mid-west and in the coming years will extend our reach into major food and wine destinations throughout the U.S.


WSET LOGOAWE-Logo 1FWS_Sqaure_LogoIWP Logo  Foundation Courses